Norwich City snapper hoping to fire his own great shot during the Championship play-offs

John Ruddy celebrates Norwich's early-season victory at Ipswich - one of Paul Chesterton's favourite

John Ruddy celebrates Norwich's early-season victory at Ipswich - one of Paul Chesterton's favourites pictures he's taken this season. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The man behind the lens, Paul Chesterton, is brought into full focus as reporter GAVIN CANEY catches up with our Norwich City photographer.

Paul Chesterton

Paul Chesterton - Credit: Archant

There is only one image that all connected with Norwich City want to see splashed across this paper on Tuesday, May 26.

That is Russell Martin holding the Championship play-off final trophy aloft after the Canaries have clinched an immediate return to the Premier League. Many will of course have seen the event with their own eyes, either at Wembley or on Sky Sports, but the view will be slightly different for Paul Chesterton. Our City photographer will witness whatever events unfold on the day through a lens as he attempts to tell the highs and lows of the afternoon through the stunning pictures he provides.

'It's all about capturing the moment,' said the 51-year-old who, when he's not snapping the Canaries, works for a celebrity photo agency.

'There's so many when you're covering a sport like football. The goals, the celebrations, the red cards, the crunching challenges. But it's not just about what happens on the pitch for 90 minutes either. You've got to watch the fans too. Their reactions of either sheer joy or pain can make for some of the best pictures.'

Jamar Loza of Norwich scores his sides 2nd and equalising goal in the dying seconds during the Sky B

Jamar Loza of Norwich scores his sides 2nd and equalising goal in the dying seconds during the Sky Bet Championship match at the John Smiths Stadium, HuddersfieldPicture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 64026717/03/2015 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chesterton, who lives in Canvey Island, has covered more than 250 games since making his City debut at Gillingham on October 6, 2009. In that time he's churned out thousands of pieces of work to be used in print. Many, many do not even make it past his own editing process but some are just too good not to see the light of day.

'My favourite picture this season was probably John Ruddy when Norwich won at Ipswich,' said the man who has been a professional 'tog' for 11 years.

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'I had a feeling he'd celebrate at the final whistle and when it went he had his arms up screaming his head off. Behind him was a bank of glum Ipswich fans. It showed the thin line between the pleasure of victory and despair of defeat. It summed up the day in just one image.'

The married father of three spends umpteen hours alone travelling to and from matches. It's the unfortunate by product of completing a role he loves to bits. And while concerns about connection issues, especially for midweek games when he is filing for an immediate deadline, are his greatest, the worries about failing to get the vital shot are not too far behind.

Bradley Johnson of Norwich scores his sides 1st goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow

Bradley Johnson of Norwich scores his sides 1st goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, NorwichPicture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 64026706/04/2015 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

'You've got no second chance. If you miss the picture, you've missed it,' said the West Ham fan who has developed a 'real soft spot' for the Canaries. 'You don't get any replays. You've got to get it right and I thrive on that.'

Chesterton's seen it all during the yellows' rise from League One to the top-flight and subsequent relegation back to the Championship. Paul Lambert may have 'put the fear of God' into a man who admits he is not intimidated by much. Current boss, 'the particularly friendly Alex Neil who always says hello', is far less adverse to being in the line of fire – which he will be even more than usual for the mouth-watering semi-final clashes against Ipswich.

'I focus on the manager's reaction because they make for great pictures – although I'm always requested to photograph the end Norwich are attacking,' added the Focus Images employee.

'That can make your job hard when seven goals are going in at the other end like they did at Man City.

Alex Neil's fear factor has not yet been imposed on our Norwich City snapper.

Alex Neil's fear factor has not yet been imposed on our Norwich City snapper. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

'There's only so many pictures you can take of dejected faces. When Norwich are winning more, like in the Championship, it does become easier I guess.

'But of course the big grounds are great to visit, they make for better backdrops, the facilities tend to be better and it's easier to photograph Wayne Rooney rather than some of the Rotherham defenders who I just wouldn't be able to name if I didn't have a team-sheet in front of me.'

If the season ends the way everyone at City wants it to though, Chesterton won't be having those sort of problems again next season.